Blogs try to counter censorship in Fiji

In May 2007, months after Fiji had suffered its latest coup, I noted reports that the military was trying to prevent access to anti-government blogs.

Now the transition to a military dictatorship is complete, the censorship crackdown on the local media has been redoubled, leaving local blogs and other websites as a crucial source of uncensored news from Fiji.  I’ve done a post on the Crikey website with more details.

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  2. “The renewed censorship will mean blogs and other sources of online information will probably become the main way to access uncensored information out of Fiji.”

    Hmmm – just like Australia!!!

  3. The blogs have never really had to try to counter censorship as it’s very nature has allowed bloggers to post without any degree of external influence. Most blog sites contain posts written by anonymouse bloggers.

    What is important to note are the truth claims of many bloggers. Whilst the blog posts at the moment seem to carry a lot more information then what is available from traditional media outlets, we have to very careful in absorbing what it’s contents are.

    Unlike tradtional media, the stories contained in the blog posts have not been subjected to normal journalistic standards nor have they been vetted properly.

    In any case, the only option for any coup related news for many Fijians right now are the blogs sites. Some news is better then nothing.

  4. “normal journalistic standards”?????

    The UK’s biggest selling paper:

    “They went on to accuse the American film producer, Steve Bing, of hiring private investigators to destroy the reputation of his former lover, Liz Hurley (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the actress Nicole Kidman of having an affair with her co-star, Jude Law, during the filming of ‘Cold Mountain’ (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the actress Diana Rigg of hating men and giving up her career (after she complained, the ‘Mail’ ran a second article along similar lines before admitting the story was untrue and paying damages); the actor Rowan Atkinson of needing five weeks’ treatment in a clinic for depression (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the actor Sir Michael Caine of having a facelift (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid money to a charity of Sir Michhael’s choice); the actress Sharon Stone of leaving her four-year-old son alone in her car while she dined out in a restaurant (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the singer Sir Elton John of banning guests at a charity function from talking to him (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the TV presenter Noel Edmonds of behaving unprofessionally and unreasonably over the course of his career (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue, paid damages and agreed to serialise Edmonds’ new book); one of their own journalists, Glenys Roberts, of conducting a vendetta against a restaurant near her home (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages); the actor Hugh Grant of destroying his relationship with Jemima Khan by flirting with other women (the ‘Mail’ admitted the story was untrue and paid damages to Marie Curie Cancer Care)…”

    From “Flat Earth News” by Nick Davies, p368.

  5. Megan:

    Yes, that sounds like the “normal journalistic standards” – anything to get a story – anything to sell more papers.

  6. I agree that the blog information coming out of Fiji is suspect. I run a blog called Fijitoday and post what I see on a daily basis and information from friends emailed to me. There is no chance to ask the military for an explanation as that would result in a visit to Queen Elizabeth Base and questioning if not violence. It is a self inflicted wound on the part of Frank and Co as the mainstream media in Fiji was relativly unbiased compared to reporting in NZ or Australia. Clamping down and muzzling them left a vacuum that we are trying our best to fill. We don’t claim to get it right all the time but are trying to be the balance to the now pro government censored papers.

  7. @TRS.
    Find your comments both pompous & ill informed – you obviously have no ides whatsoever whats going on or what’s at stake – main difficulty is convincing people such as yourself + AUS authorities (DFAT ONA & their political masters) that they are dealing with an inept military regime headed by a delusional dictator. Suggest you google regimes official www
    real fiji news & post a derogatory comment? Watch the virus’s & Trogans magicly appear? People like you really should get out more.

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